Little penguins released off Sydney beach

Rebecca Gredley

After spending two months at Taronga Zoo wildlife hospital, five little penguins are back in the ocean after being released from a Sydney beach.

Footsie, Margaret, Collin, Bondi and Nigel said goodbye to their Taronga handlers and swam away at Manly's Shelly Beach on Tuesday morning after being treated for conditions including dehydration, a fishing hook injury and a broken foot.

Wildlife hospital manager Libby Hall says the penguins had been in intensive care and underwent various procedures such as radiographs, ultrasounds and surgery before swimming in rehabilitation pools prior to their release.

It's not known where the penguins will head but they could travel hundreds of kilometres up and down the coast in search of food.

"Penguins we've released here have been recorded down in Victoria," Ms Hall told AAP on Tuesday.

"It really depends where the schooling fish are."

The flightless birds were delivered to the zoo from as far as Newcastle, Maroubra and Bondi, and are part of 1000 native animals cared for by Taronga veterinarians each year.

Little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, are the smallest of the 17 penguin species and are "doing quite well" in the wild, Ms Hall added.

Taronga Wildlife Hospital is concerned, however, about an endangered colony at Manly which is the last remaining group on mainland NSW.